A ruptured spleen may occur following a direct blow to the left side of the stomach or back. This causes a tearing of the lining of the spleen and the tissues inside.
Symptoms of a Ruptured Spleen
- Pain and tenderness in the upper abdomen.
- Pain is sometimes referred to the left shoulder.
If bleeding is rapid, symptoms of shock develop quickly. These include:
- Blurred vision.
- Loss of consciousness,
The spleen is located in the left side of the abdomen, below the diaphragm and under the ribs. The most common causes of a ruptured spleen include road traffic accidents, injuries in contact sports and from physical attacks or fights.
- Medical attention should be sought immediately as internal bleeding can be fatal.
- The patient will be put on a drip to maintain circulation to the organs.
- A blood transfusion may be given to replace lost blood.
- Surgery is required to stop the bleeding.
- Usually the entire spleen will be removed in an operation called a splenectomy.
- Occasionally, when the tear is only small, the surgeon may be able to fix the tear.
- If the spleen is removed, it is important that the patient has an injection to vaccinate them against pneumococcal infection as the spleen plays a large role in protecting the body against infection, especially from the pneumococcal bacteria.